Carl Claus

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Carl Claus 1891

Carl Friedrich Wilhelm Claus , also Latinized as Carolus ... (born  January 2, 1835 in Kassel , †  January 18, 1899 in Vienna ), was a German zoologist and comparative anatomist. He is considered the "creator of scientific zoology in Austria". Claus represented Darwinism , but was an opponent of Ernst Haeckel's theories .


Carl Claus' parents were the Münz wasein Heinrich Claus and Charlotte, geb. Judge. His brother was the chemist Adolf Claus .

From 1854 Claus studied medicine and science at the Philipps University in Marburg and the Hessian Ludwig University in Gießen with Rudolf Leuckart (1822–1898). In 1854 he became a member of Progress - fraternity Germania Marburg. From 1855 he was a member of the Corps Hasso-Nassovia . In 1857 he received his doctorate in philosophy. In Marburg he qualified as a lecturer in zoology in 1858.

He taught at the Philipps University and from the winter semester 1859/1860 at the Julius Maximilians University of Würzburg , where he was appointed associate professor. Claus had refused a call to Dorpat . In 1863 he accepted a call to Marburg and became a full professor there. In 1870 he moved to the Georg August University of Göttingen and in 1873 to the University of Vienna , where he taught until 1896. He headed the Austrian Station for Marine Zoology in Trieste , specialized in crustaceans and founded the modern classification of this group. As part of his cell research, Claus coined the term phagocyte (intracellularly digesting blood cell; cyto- from ancient Greek κύτος kýtos "vessel", "cell"; φαγεῖν phageîn "[fr] to eat").

Under the guidance of Claus, the medical student Sigmund Freud wrote his first scientific work in 1877, based on research that he had carried out at Claus' Trieste station on the testicular structure of the eel. From this Freud received decisive impulses for his later developed theory of the bisexuality of humans.

The theory of Charles Darwin was estimated by Claus; but he still saw essential open questions in them. At the end of his life he wrote that the selection principle "with regard to the great riddle of development that remains to be solved, can only be compared to a plank that carries the otherwise hopelessly sinking above water."


  • 1876, research to research the genealogical basis of the Crustacean system. A contribution to the theory of descent ; Vienna, C. Gerold
  • 1879–82, Basics of Zoology ; NG Elwert Marburg; 2 volumes (his most famous work).
  • 1880, Small Textbook of Zoology ; (6th edition) 1897, textbook of zoology , Marburg.

Dedication names

René Edouard Claparède named after him the genus Clausia with the species Clausia lubbocki in 1863 .


Web links

Wikisource: Carl Claus  - Sources and full texts
Commons : Carl Claus  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Ernst August Gries: The student union (Burschenschaft) Germania Marburg 1851-1859. Edited by Harald Lönnecker . Koblenz 2013, p. 5.
  2. Kösener Corpslisten 1930, 101 , 187
  3. Lucille B. Ritvo: Carl Claus as Freud's Professor of the New Darwinian Biology. In: The International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 53 (1972), pp. 277-283
  4. Textbook 1897, p. 215. Cf. Franz Stuhlhofer : Charles Darwin - Weltreise zum Agnostizismus. 1988, pp. 110-133: "Admission of Darwinism in Germany".